We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Aug 24 – The Feast Day of St. Bartholomew

St. Bartholomew

Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and is usually identified as Nathaniel and was a doctor. In Mark 3:18 he is one of the twelve Jesus calls to be with him. He was introduced to us as a friend of Philip, another of the twelve apostles as per (John 1:43-51), where the name Nathaniel first appears. He is also mentioned as “Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee” in (John 21:2).

He was characterized by Jesus on the first meeting as a man “in whom there was no guile.” The Catholic News Agency wrote this. “We are presented with the Apostle’s character in this brief and beautiful dialogue with the Lord Jesus. He is a good Jew, honest and innocent, a just man, who devotes much time to quiet reflection and prayer – “under the fig tree (1:48)” – and has been awaiting the Messiah, the Holy One of God.”

His day is remembered on August 24. After the Resurrection he was favored by becoming one of the few apostles who witnessed the appearance of the risen Savior on the sea of Galilee (John 21:2).

From Eusebius history, Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. Other traditions record him as serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Parthia, and Lycaonia.

Along with his fellow apostle Jude, Bartholomew is reputed to have brought Christianity to Armenia in the 1st century. Thus both saints are considered the patron saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church. He is said to have been martyred in in Armenia. According to one account, he was beheaded, but a more popular tradition holds that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward. He is said to have converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. His brother consequently ordered Bartholomew’s execution. The 13th century Saint Bartholomew Monastery was a prominent Armenian monastery constructed at the site of the martyrdom of Apostle Bartholomew in what is today southeastern turkey

Jamaican Mission Team send-off, Sun Aug 20, 2023

The team leaves, Wed. Aug 23 for Jamaica ahead of the school distribution on Sat. Aug 26, 2023. Today, there were prayers for safe travel and a successful mission trip.

Thank you to everyone who donated school supplies for each of the 300+ students at the Victoria School in Linstead, Jamaica, These donations included 3,000+ items including drawstring backpacks, sharpeners, pencils, pens, toothpaste, toothbrushes, erasers, crayons, pencil cases, rulers, Also 6 tablets were contributed. Finally, St Peter’s was able to donate seven used computers to the school, along with keyboards and monitors to use with each computer. We collected $2,355 at the end of June for the computers and remaining school supplies

Videos, Pentecost 12, Aug. 20, 2023

Opening Hymn -“Pass me now, O gentle Savior”

Gospel and Sermon

Affirmation

Prayers of the People

Announcements

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Sermon, Proper 15, Aug 20, 2023

When I was in seminary, our professors did not hesitate to share their dislikes of certain hymns.  Our music professor, Bill Roberts, was outspoken over the fact that “Pass me not, O gentle Savior,” was not a favorite of his.

“Because,” Bill said, “Jesus would never pass anyone by.” 

Being passed by is awful and demoralizing.  Probably all of us can think of times in our lives when we felt ignored, passed by, or disregarded by others. 

But Jesus?  Would Jesus EVER pass us by? 

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Lectionary, Pentecost 12, Proper 15, Aug. 20, 2023

I.Theme –   God comes to all us, includes all in his mercy and calls us to lead lives of justice

 "Jesus and the Canaanite Woman"  – Jean Colombe

The lectionary readings are here or individually

Old Testament – Isaiah 56:1,6-8
Psalm – Psalm 67 Page 675, BCP
Epistle –Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Gospel – Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28 

Three ingredients come together to create a celebratory mix in this week’s Lectionary: The first is God’s salvation (expressed in terms of justice and mercy); the second is God’s blessing given to those who are saved; and the third is the inclusion of "foreigners" and "outcasts". The expansion of the gospel beyond the boundaries of Judaism does not supersede God’s love for Israel, but reflects God’s love and inspiration of all people.  The focus, then, of this week’s worship is on God’s coming to us, welcoming all people, and including all people in God’s mercy, salvation and blessing, while also calling all people to lives of justice.

In Isaiah 5 , God calls God’s people to justice and fairness because God promises to come to them and bring not just God’s people, but also the foreigners and outcasts, to worship and to be blessed by God on God’s mountain.

Psalm 67 is a psalm of praise for God’s blessings and mercy, which calls all nations to join in praising God for God’s saving power.

In Romans 11, the apostle Paul affirms God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people. There is no room for anti-Judaism in Christianity. God’s providential gifts of grace are irrevocable. God has made an eternal covenant with the children of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. God’s revelation in Christ expands God’s covenant to include all the peoples of the earth. God will have mercy on disobedient people everywhere, whether Jew or Gentile.

The question of being chosen once again is ambiguous. An omnipresent and omni-active God, for whom love is the guiding principle, chooses all creation. No one is left out. This is problematic for those who see the Jewish people and nation, or any other nation, as absolutely unique. As some prophetic writings suggest, Israel was chosen for a mission, to be a light to the Gentiles, bringing God’s love to all peoples.

The gospel reading places Jesus in an unusual light. When a Canaanite woman comes to Jesus to seek healing for her daughter, Jesus puts her off, apparently excluding her because of her ethnicity from God’s healing realm. The woman persists and eventually Jesus relents, apparently impressed by the depth of her faith and her willingness to experience humiliation for the love of her daughter. Jesus cures her daughter from a distance; his energy transcends the boundaries of space.

This story also portrays another kind of transcendence, the transcendence of ethnic and personal barriers for the sake healing and wholeness. Now, there are a number of ways to interpret the encounter of Jesus with the Canaanite woman. At first glance, Jesus appears to succumb to the racist tendencies that characterized the attitudes of many Jewish people toward foreigners. He puts her off because, as a Canaanite, she is unworthy of God’s love. A second interpretation suggests that Jesus is testing her faith, trying to discern how much she loves her daughter and what she is willing to do to secure a healing for her daughter. Finally, a third interpretation asserts that Jesus may be creating a trap for those who see the woman as an inferior outsider. He acts and speaks like a racist, getting their insider assent, and then pulls the rug out from under them by healing the Canaanite woman’s daughter. From this perspective, the encounter is a parable, a reversal of expectations, a turning upside down of socially acceptable racism in light of God’s realm of inclusion and healing.

However, we understand the meaning of the encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman, the story portrays Jesus’ eventual inclusion of non-Jewish people into his ministry. God’s healing embraces all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, or sexuality. Mature faith widens the circles of God’s love to go beyond our well-being to embrace and support the various gifts of the earth’s peoples.

Earlier in the readings, Jesus explains that it is not what we eat that defiles us but the evil that is in our hearts. Then he is approached by a Canaanite woman who convinces him, in spite of his initial reluctance, to heal her daughter who is being tormented by a demon.


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Back to Jamaica

The Jamaica mission trip participants depart on Aug. 23. Traveling are Ken Pogue, Andrea Pogue, and Laura Carey. The school supply distribution is Sat. Aug 26.

Top left to right – Ken Pogue, Andrea Pogue, Laura Carey

Special thanks to Andrea for arranging the original connection between Victoria Primary School and St. Peter’s in 2021 and for her work this year in planning the school supplies distribution on Sat. Aug. 26. Computer equipment which is needed at the school was added for this distribution.

Ways to help those in need in Hawaii

Ways to help those in need in Hawaii

->Group Donation 

We at St Peter’s  can come together as a group to do our part to help with immediate relief efforts in Hawaii.  If you would like to donate through St Peter’s, as this part of the Body of Christ, make out a check to St Peter’s and put Hawaii in the memo line.  The St Peter’s collection will go to The Diocese of Hawaii to The Bishop’s Pastoral Fund with a note that this is from our church, St Peter’s,  here in The Diocese of Virginia.   The Diocese of Hawaii will put this money to work through A Cup of Cold Water,  the homeless assistance ministry run by the four Episcopal Churches on the island of Maui. 

If you would prefer to donate individually online to The Bishop’s Pastoral Fund, click this link.  online donations

->Individual Donations

If you would like to donate online through Episcopal Relief and Development, click on this link, https://support.episcopalrelief.org  and put US Disaster Fund in the memo line.  This group is also working with The Diocese of Hawaii. 

Charity Navigator, a website that rates charities in an effort to help people use their donations wisely, has a curated list of charities which are accepting donations to help the people of Hawaii.  Go to this link, https://www.charitynavigator.org .  Click on Hawaii Wildfires to find their list and ways to contribute to various groups online.  

The “Ins” and “Outs”

One of two Gospel stories this week is Jesus confrontation with the “Canaanite woman.” Reading on we can see a connection to our time if we view the story as a classic case of “ins” vs. “outs”. And that brings us to our time. At the bottom are 5 contemporary examples of the same thing. Here is the story:

There are three confrontations. Number #1. Jesus puts her off, ignores her apparently excluding her because of her ethnicity. The disciples want Jesus to send the woman away because she’s being a nuisance. Number #2. Jesus tells the woman that he was sent only to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel which means not Gentiles. Number #3. Even when she kneels in front of him, Jesus says that it isn’t fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs. The woman persists and eventually Jesus relents, apparently impressed by the depth of her faith and her willingness to experience humiliation for the love of her daughter. Jesus cures her daughter from a distance;

One perspective is that the story can be seen as a study of “ins” and “outs” with the Canaanite woman in the Gospel being an “out”.

If she is “out”, then why is Jesus “in”? The “ins” and “outs” is a matter who is in control. Control can be one who is controlling the conversation, such as Jesus in this conversation. Control can also be legal, economical as with civil rights. Control can be based on perception when a group of people decide you are not “good enough”.

Control can be based on sheer numbers. In the Gospel story, the Canaanites were enemies of the Jews and even through Jesus was in their turf, he took relations in his own hands withs his diciples against only one Canaanite. It can also mean situations when people have already judged your actions and they use verbal language and body language to tell you are in error.

This classic struggle of “ins” and “outs” can be applied in so many ways – religion, economics, wealth and in social relations. Fairness and justice are all part of it. We see people not as they are – in this case simply trying to get a cure for a child. We tend to classify and put labels on people which isn’t fair.  

The collage in this article are part of 5 examples (links) in our time with the lnks below demonstrating the “ins” and “outs”. In the movie “Legally Blonde” Elle, the aspiring law student, is up against a group of students who doubt her abilities in law school. She doesn’t appear to have the intellectual ability.  We salute those that are trying to bridge barriers, such as the case in “Freedom Summer” in 1964 in trying to sign up African Americans to vote in Mississippi. There are two links for that event. It also can be situations when you are against a group that says by word or expressions that you shouldn’t act this way.  Be sure to check out the video at from the last link- “Unsung Hero” – how one person can exact change when others doubt him. The boy tries to make a better life for those he comes in contact with and the crowd shakes their heads at his efforts. (Amazingly,that video was produced by a life insurance company!)

How to Lead Your Life ?

By Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

There are two ways to live life. 

One way is to live as if we’re owed it all, that we deserve everything good that comes our way, and that anything bad we receive is an unfair mistake. The other way is to see it all as a gift.

Everything around us seems to hardwire us to believe we deserve it. All of it: education, fun times, money, respect, friendship, love. But deep down, we know it’s a lie. We know we don’t deserve it any more than anyone else.

Thankfully, God doesn’t work in terms of ‘deserve’. He doesn’t give people what they’ve earned.

Instead, he gives gifts. It’s all an utter gift. Your health. Your friends. Your family. Your future. His love for you. Everything. Gift. Gift. Gift.

And knowing that, the response from us shouldn’t be living like we deserve it, but being thankful.

How might today be different if you chose to see all these gifts for what they are, and be thankful?

From . St Johns Church Donisthorpe, UK

Sunday Links, Aug. 20, 2023, Pentecost 12

Today is the story of the Canaanite woman and Jesus’s controversial interaction with her

  • Web site
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  • Location – 823 Water Street, P. O. Box 399, Port Royal, Virginia 22535

  • Annette Steele on Sun Aug. 13, 2023

  • Sun. Aug. 20, 2023, 11am Eucharist YouTube 823 Water St. Port Royal, VA 22535
  • Lectionary Aug. 20, Pentcost 12, Lectionary lnk

  • Wed., Aug 23, Jamaican Mission Team travels to Jamaica for the school supplies distribution.
  • Ecumenical Bible Study, Wed., Aug. 23, 10am-12pm, Parish House

    Reading Lectionary for Aug. 27, Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

  • Remembering St. Bartholomew, Aug. 24
  • Jamaican school distribution, Sat., Aug. 26, 10am at Victoria School in Jamaica
  • Aug., 2023 Newsletter
  • All articles for Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023
  • Virgin Mary, Aug. 15

    We celebrate her saint day on August 15. 

    Mary lived circa 18 BCE- 41 CE. She was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, the daughter of Joachim and Anne and the wife of Joseph, the carpenter. Little is known of her life except when it relates to Jesus life. She remained faithful to him through his death (when his disciples denied, betrayed, and fled), and even after his death, continued life in ministry with the apostles.

    The New Testament records many incidents from the life of the Virgin which shows her to be present at most of the chief events of her Son’s life:

    • her betrothal to Joseph [Luke 1:27]
    • the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel that she was to bear the Messiah [Luke 1:26-38]
    • her Visitation to Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist [Luke 1:39-56]
    • the Nativity of our Lord [Luke 2:20]
    • the visits of the shepherds [Luke 2:8-20] and the magi [Matthew 2:1-12]
    • the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple at the age of forty days [Luke 2:22, 2:41]
    • the flight into Egypt, the Passover visit to the Temple when Jesus was twelve, [Matthew 1:16,18-25; 2; Luke 1:26-56; 2];
    • the wedding at Cana in Galilee [John 2:1-11]
    • and the performance of her Son’s first miracle at her intercession [John 2:1-11],
    • the occasions when observers said, "How can this man be special? We know his family!" [Matthew 13:54-56, Mark 6:1-3, Luke 4:22; also John 6:42],
    • an occasion when she came with others to see him while he was preaching [Matthew 12:46-50,Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21],
    • her presence at the foot of the Cross, where Jesus commends her to the care of the Beloved Disciple [John 19:25-27],
    • her presence with the apostles in the upper room after the Ascension, waiting for the promised Spirit [Acts 1:14].   

    Besides Jesus himself, only two humans are mentioned by name in the Creeds. One is Pontius Pilate, Roman procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 AD and the other is Mary. There are more feast days in The Episcopal Church honoring Mary than anyone else.

    There have been many appearances of Mary over the centuries. Tradition says that in 39 CE, the Virgin Mary appeared in a vision to Saint James the Great in Zaragoza, Spain. Over the centuries, there have been dozens of additional reports of appearances of the Virgin Mary in different times and places. Two of the most influential visions of the Virgin Mary are the Virgin of Walsingham and the Virgin of Guadalupe.

    Her story was carried by National Geographic in December, 2015 –"How the Virgin Mary Became the World’s Most Powerful Woman"

    Her message to us was simple – "Listen to Him. Listen to my Son. Do what He tells you."